The bonfire, staged at Mosley High School in Lynn Haven, exploded into a fireball and rained debris in all directions, video from the event shows.
District leaders said the explosion was immediately contained by deputies and firefighters. Thankfully, no one was injured in the incident.
The school holds the event yearly, and reportedly used the same procedures to light the fire as in years past, school leaders wrote.
“Again, we know the explosion was disturbing and we sincerely apologize to anyone who was concerned or scared as a result of the loud noise. We appreciate all of the calls and texts checking on us, and our students, and we’re grateful that our usual safety protocols prevented anyone from being very close when the explosion occurred,” reads a statement released by Bay District Schools.
Sheriff Tommy Ford of the Bay County Sheriff’s Office also released a statement, saying the department takes accountability for the explosion.
“Tonight, there was an incident at Mosley High School where the annual homecoming bonfire exploded. This has been a tradition at Mosley started by a previous school resource deputy and was without incident until tonight,” Ford said. “The deputy that set up the bonfire has done so at Mosley for the last 7 years. We are not sure yet what caused the explosion, but take responsibility for the incident.”
Ford further claimed that all safety precautions were followed before and after the incident.
“Safety precautions were in place, to include the fire department on site and the students positioned at a safe distance behind a fence, that prevented injury or fire but it still should not have happened,” he said. “We apologize for any distress this has caused and I assure you that we are officially out of the bonfire business.”